The Great British Picnic: Seven Superb Delis to Shop

Make the most of picnic season by skipping to one of these dazzling delis. From Cornwall to the Cotswolds, via London and Edinburgh, these are the places to go for your summer essentials. Strawberries and cream, anyone?

Most of us probably feel a certain nostalgia when we think "picnic". It was our favourite childhood expedition: picking a sandwich filling, washing the strawberries, wrapping up the perfectly baked cake... Fast forward to today and it still kindles the same thrilling feelings. It doesn't matter if you're setting off for the back garden, the local park or the beach; a picnic makes for one of the greatest of adventures - cue Henry Hall's Teddy Bear's Picnic.

With the weather playing ball, now is the time to dig out your tartan blanket and take to the balmy outdoors. But, hang on. First, let us take you inside some of the UK's most marvellous delis - ideal for picking up some top-notch basket essentials. Spanning Cornwall to Edinburgh, these are the emporiums to head for.

Picnic party: seven brilliant UK delis to visit

The Allotment Deli, St Ives


The Allotment Deli


Gracing St Ives' vibrant Fore Street, The Allotment Deli is the place to pick up fresh-from-the-oven soda bread, creamy cheeses and peppery pasties. The glass-fronted shop is not hard to miss, thanks to its happy mish-mash of baskets brimming with all sorts of organic fruit and vegetables. If, like us, you struggle to make an appetising club sandwich, browse the impressive pre-made sarnie selection. You'll also find an entire range dedicated to those with a gluten intolerance - we've heard the vegetable tart is well worth a try.


Wally’s Delicatessen


An arcade in Cardiff might not be the first place that springs to mind when hunting for fresh local produce, but hear us out. Wally's, located inside the popular Royal Arcade, is the epitome of a traditional kaffeehaus. With floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with flavour-packed condiments, grains, spices and sweet treats sourced from across the world (the Welsh chocolate remains our favourite), there's little that this place doesn't serve. Head down early enough and you can enjoy a continental breakfast before ploughing through your shopping list.


38-42 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE

Lina Stores, Soho


Lina Stores


Having first opened its doors back in 1944, Lina Stores has become something of a landmark for hungry Londoners. Serving up a true taste of Italy, the deli stocks everything from cured meats to award-winning cheeses and pasta that will make you question any ravioli that's previously passed your lips. With 40 different types of salumi to choose from, it can be somewhat overwhelming deciding what to order, so we took a trip down to the sage-green coloured oasis and scribbled down the essentials for you. Deep breath. Start with a packet of the truffle salami, followed by a chunk of smoked caciotta cheese and a jar of mixed olives. Then, you'll want to grab at least two rosemary focaccias and an Italian white sourdough loaf. Can't trust yourself to not buy the entire shop? Request one of the ready-made hampers - they even come with a bottle of bubbly.


18 Brewer St, London W1F 0SH

Valvonna & Crolla, Edinburgh


Valvona & Crolla


A handsome foodie stable on the edge of Edinburgh's Gayfield Square, Valvona & Crolla is known among Scots as the best place in the country for a fix of Italy's famous flavours. Upon entering the dimly lit set-up, you'll find yourself beneath a ceiling clad with pots and pans and packaged hams, a sea of region-specific shelves before you. Browse Sicilian delights and boxes of Tuscan magic, before flitting next door to Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar, whose fresh fish pastas are legendary.


19 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AA

Interior of Fillet & Bone


Fillet & Bone


Back in 2017, the thriving Cotswolds food scene gained a swish new addition in the form of Fillet & Bone. Housed in a former butcher's shop, the 700-year-old honey-hued establishment underwent something of a renaissance when husband-and-wife duo Chris Gates and Pat Willins got to work on it. Inside, you'll find a pantry, dairy counter and an in-house butchery - as well as trophy-worthy fruit and veg. Given its name, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that freshly caught fish is also available. The scallops, in particular, are sensational.


High St, Chipping Campden GL55 6AT

De Beauvoir Deli, London


De Beauvoir Deli


Located in the thick of the action on Hackney's Southgate Road, this N1 address makes it hard to actually get to your picnic: if you're not careful, you might just spend the entire afternoon gawking at the array of fine produce. De Beauvoir Deli feels more like someone's grandmother's kitchen than a place to come and pick up your fruit and veg: think black-and-white chequered flooring, duck egg-blue units and an island piled high with crusty baguettes and tomatoes bigger than your face. Help yourself, buffet-style, to the likes of couscous, potato salad and grilled cauliflower. In a hurry? Locals rave about the picnic hamper delivery service - especially the Spanish-inspired basket.


98 Southgate Rd, London N1 3JD

The Hungry Guest, Sussex


The Hungry Guest

West Sussex

Prone to "hanger"? This Sussex shop will sort you out. An hour's drive from Brighton's seafront, The Hungry Guest is not your average deli. In fact, it has its own in-house baker, butcher, cheesemonger and fishmonger, all eager to discuss both the origin of their locally sourced goods and what makes for the perfect picnic. No wonder this place won UK Delicatessen of the Year in 2015 and 2016. You'll find us loitering in the sweet treats aisle, eyeing up the mountains of brownies and platters of sticky cinnamon rolls.


Middle St, Petworth GU28 0BE

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